It is amazing to see Jeb Bush pull GW’s old playbook out and position himself as the sensible, kinder, gentler choice in 2016. It might also be brilliant.
The Far Right cannot win alone
Stirring up the conservative hornet’s nest with fiery speeches may give you standing ovations at CPAC, but without moderates and undecideds, you cannot win the election. So, you either lie to the base, or lie to the public. But there is a third way, grasshopper.
You have to Karl Rove it
George Bush stayed kinder and gentler, while his campaign played hard, dirty politics, getting nods and kissing rings in private that assured him the support of the far right, while appearing to the voters as a man they could trust to represent everyone. It worked. We can debate the real outcome of his first election, but one thing is clear; he convinced a lot of people to vote for him. He won their trust.
Voters can be fooled again.
The only problem with this tactic is that it takes a gentle touch. You cannot promise the moon to everyone. Mitt Romney promised so much, so often ,and to so many people, voters could not believe anything he said, and that mistrust was fine clay for the opposition. The Democrats kept molding an image of Mitt that remains to this day. We will never know the true Mitt Romney because of that mold, but don’t blame the Democrats. Mitt made the promises.
The GW Promise
George Bush did not stamp his foot for any cause. Rove and the boys did that behind the scenes. W had one mission on the campaign trail, and that was to convince the voters he was kinder and gentler. Credit Rove for understanding that in the final analysis, voting for President of the United States is not much different from voting for class king and queen at your high school. You have to be popular, good looking, and act like you are a nice guy. Don’t Let Jeb Bush’s Moderation Confuse You | The Progressive.